Odell H. Rosen, 96, of 202 Kudrow Lane, Morrisville, died peacefully at home August 10, 2015.
Born in Hagerstown, Maryland, the youngest of five sons of the late Jennie Schwartz and H. Nathan Rosen, he grew up in Hancock, Md. and moved to Hagerstown in 1946. His wife of 64 years, Pearl Rosenberg, preceded him in death. He is survived by his two daughters Arlene Pike and Stephanie Rosen, son-in-laws Michael Pike and Mark Altbier, grandchildren Jennifer Freifeld and Evan Pike, their spouses Jeremy Freifeld and Satomi Pike and one great-grandson, Noah Freifeld.
In 1946, he became a partner in the family mercantile business eventually named Rosen’s Downtown Inc., which expanded to include stores in Hagerstown, MD; Carlyle, PA; Charles Town, VA; Hancock, MD; and Martinsburg, WVA. After his father and brothers retired, he became the sole owner of the business.
He was a lifetime member of Congregation B’nai Abraham, Hagerstown, and a member of Temple Beth Or in Raleigh for the last 15 years of his life.
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He was a civic leader devoted to the betterment of human relations between ethnic groups serving on the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities for Washington County Maryland at the request of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and was a member of the Hagerstown Bi-racial Commission.
Dedicated to the improvement of the Maryland Court System and the dispensation of justice, he became an incorporator and President of the Maryland Citizens’ Committee on the Modernization of Maryland Courts (1969) and chairman of its board. A state appointment gave him the honor of being a consultant on the first District Court System to the National Conference on Judiciary (1971) in Williamsburg, VA called for by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren E. Burger.
He had a deep concern for the problems of education and the establishment of greater education opportunity for all children. He served as President of the Washington County Board of Education and in 1968 was the first President of the Independent Board of Trustees of Hagerstown Junior College (now the Hagerstown Community College). During his tenure on the board of HJC, he and his late wife Pearl established the first Foundation fund for what is now the Hagerstown Community College Foundation.
As an amateur painter, writer and storyteller, he entertained his late wife, children, grandchildren, friends and acquaintances with his stories and sense of humor through the last week of his life. Two volumes of a collection of his poetry, A Pearl I Seek, are housed in the Library of Congress.
Services will be held at Sol Levinson Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 on Friday, August 14 at 10 AM. There will be a Shiva Minyon service at Temple Beth Or, 5315 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, on Tuesday, August 18 at 7 PM.